Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Post Titled: Unloading Information Overload. AMEN.
Post Subtitled: ""The way we live is eroding our capacity for deep, sustained, perceptive attention – the building block of intimacy, wisdom, and cultural progress."" (BLINK-BLINK) "Sorry, what was that? Wasn't paying attention... oh, deep thought. Lost. Right. ja. totally."

Over the weekend when I was off in the north of Poland I went a whopping 3 days without even so much as SEEING a computer (except the ones used for ticketing at the train station.) So nice. That was so so so nice. The only time I was even near one was at A's folks place when they were watching Leonard Cohen's I'm Your Man on a laptop.
Then, back to Berlin. Back to the daily grind and my dad sends me THIS ARTICLE from the WSJ:

to which I responded: "I have been thinking about this a lot lately: I mean, I have been sitting at a desk in front of a computer for 40+ hours a week now for about 5 years, and I now find it very difficult to read books outside of work. Furthermore, I want my information (news even) in 3-sentences or less. I don't want pages, I want blurbs, or I want it to be streamable radio that I can listen to while doing other things. For this reason I really like HuffPo's style of giving you a headline, then a quickread, then a link to the full article). My German counterparts are often horrified by these sorts of earth-shattering societal shifts and changes, whereas I just sort-of see them as quite natural in the information age- like, my co-worker tried to give me an article in the newspaper and my thought was "what am I supposed to do with this dead tree?" I requested a link- because really what can I do with a physical newspaper? nothing i can't bookmark or del.icio.us it, I can't twitter or blog a direct link to it, I can't FW it- the mere physicality of the newspaper is so unattractive and completely restrictive to me now...
This attention-span issue is here to stay, though. I mean, kids growing up now won't even know what an attention span is- it may all backfire down the road, probably will- actually, who knows."

My reaction to the link, (and this is typical):
STEP 1: read first paragraph, it if is any good then del.icio.us it.
STEP 2: if it is interesting, weird, or particularly informative then twitter it.
STEP 3: if I have anything to say about it, then blog it.
STEP 4: if it is a must read then send slap it up on skype to co-workers and email to friends/family.
Q: Will I ever even read the entire article? Probably not, because I get distracted or lose interest after about the first 3 paragraphs or so... bad bad bad.

ON the plus-side
I do tend to leave my computer at work (not bringing it home) about 2-3 nights a week now. That is nice. I mean, tonight I am going to see Radiohead, there is absolutely no reason to bring the computer home unless I want to watch a movie in bed before I fall asleep... right? Weekends I have prety-much stopped blogging and rarely check email. Good... good...


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