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.
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.
I am proposing an alternative view that states that our reality is both technological and organic, both digital and physical, all at once.
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.
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.
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
Science Proves You’re Stupid. Terrific article about the human brain. Wonderful little nuggets like “The feeling of knowing is just that, a sensation.”
Seven ways to think like the web. Jon Udell writes about principles people apply when working well together online. Filled with links to related posts as well.
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.