The Plea­sure and Pain of Speed. Nau­tilus arti­cle that looks at whether there are bio­log­i­cal thresh­olds to how fast our brain can process infor­ma­tion. Toward the end it con­sid­ers whether these thresh­olds are sta­tic or whether we’re adapt­ing to faster pro­cess­ing speeds over time.

How Experts Think:

Less think­ing led to bet­ter solu­tions. More think­ing led to worse solu­tions. Were grand­mas­ters mak­ing their moves by inspiration?

No. Experts do not think less. They think more effi­ciently. The prac­ticed brain elim­i­nates poor solu­tions before they reach the con­scious mind.

Patrick Rhone, writ­ing about your two brains:

This is also not to say that you can’t both be fast and good — you can. This is just to say that the chances of you doing your best work are far greater if you allow your slow brain to engage and evolve at the same rate as the fast. If you take your time. If you slow down.

Solitude and Leadership

I find for myself that my first thought is never my best thought. My first thought is always some­one else’s; it’s always what I’ve already heard about the sub­ject, always the con­ven­tional wis­dom. It’s only by con­cen­trat­ing, stick­ing to the ques­tion, being patient, let­ting all the parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an orig­i­nal idea. By giv­ing my brain a chance to make asso­ci­a­tions, draw con­nec­tions, take me by sur­prise. And often even that idea doesn’t turn out to be very good. I need time to think about it, too, to make mis­takes and rec­og­nize them, to make false starts and cor­rect them, to out­last my impulses, to defeat my desire to declare the job done and move on to the next thing.

William Dere­siewicz — Soli­tude and Lead­er­ship.

Our Digital Ethos

I dis­avow the notion that tech­nol­ogy should change our lives. Tech­nol­ogy should improve our lives in small, mean­ing­ful ways. It should nudge, pro­voke, sur­prise, inform, and yes, con­nect on a grand scale. But it should not pre­sume to know too much.

Nathan Heleine — Our Dig­i­tal Ethos

The attention-span myth

Vir­ginia Hef­fer­nan dis­putes the tra­di­tional notion of an attention-span. Good to see some­one con­front Nicholas Carr’s notion that tech­nol­ogy causes brain dam­age.

I’m sur­prised that any­one ven­tures so far into this thicket of sophistry. I get stuck much ear­lier in the equa­tion. Every­one has an atten­tion span: really? And really again: an atten­tion span is a free­stand­ing entity like a boxer’s reach, exist­ing inde­pen­dently of any news­pa­per or chess game that might engage or repel it, and which might be mea­sured by the psychologist’s equiv­a­lent of a tailor’s tape?

If mate­r­ial is engag­ing peo­ple will focus on it, regard­less of what their sup­posed attention-spans are.