Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Wandering Mind

We all zone out, oftentimes at alarming rates. Discover Magazine recently ran an interesting article arguing that zoning out may not necessarily be a bad thing. Noting that most of the thoughts during zoning out deal with the future and much of deep thought occurs during these periods, Carl Zimmer posits that zoning out allows us to reach goals, but separates them based on their immediacy.

In related news, the Atlantic Monthly ran a feature article some time back entitled "Is Google Making Us Stupid?". Nicholas Carr argues that technological advancements have had a profound impact on how we think. Prior to the typewriter, we had much longer, drawn out sentences, but afterwords writing became much more terse. Today, the age of the internet and hypertext, has redefined 'short attention span' - think blog.

1 comment:

Naveed Malik said...

I think Carr misses the point. We're thinking quicker, researcher faster and writer more, just in shorter bursts. It's an old saying, by Thomas Jefferson, I believe, where he told a friend he wrote him a 10 page letter, but had he had time, he would have written him a one page letter. In the information age, less is more...easily and widely digested. Compare this blog entry to others...