It’s official, we’re stoooopid!

It’s starting to look like the truth is dawning on everyone about the shallowness of our information rich age: the wages of surfing is distractedness. In an article in the Sunday Times of London, Bryan Appleyard picks up on the thread, reinforcing the idea that we do indeed live in a depraved time.

” The opposite of attention is distraction, an unnatural condition and one that, as Meyer discovered in 1995, kills. Now he is convinced that chronic, long-term distraction is as dangerous as cigarette smoking. In particular, there is the great myth of multitasking. No human being, he says, can effectively write an e-mail and speak on the telephone. Both activities use language and the language channel in the brain can’t cope. Multitaskers fool themselves by rapidly switching attention and, as a result, their output deteriorates…

“I feel that much of my life is ebbing away in the tide of minute-by-minute distraction . . . I’m not certain what the effect on the world will be. But psychologists do say that intense close engagement with things does provide the most human satisfaction.” The psychologists are right. McKibben describes himself as “loving novelty” and yet “craving depth”, the contemporary predicament in a nutshell.”

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