Friday, December 17, 2010

i-TFTD #304: Activity is Not Always Action

#304-1. Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active.
-Leonardo da Vinci, painter, engineer, musician, and scientist (1452-1519)

#304-2. A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.
-Victor Hugo, novelist and dramatist (1802-1885)

#304-3. Voices of philosophy, poetry and imagery are relatively weak in a world that largely assumes that only science and reason speak with true authority. Yet that very authority suggests that there are many problems better served by slower, more intuitive thinking, rather than the linear, logical process.
-Prof. Guy Claxton, British cognitive scientist and expert on learning, in his book, "Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind" (1947-)

The frenzy of continuous information consumption is a peculiar affliction of the past decade, thanks to the proliferation of a globally interconnected media streaming through multiple devices and channels. This has definitely dented our ability to pay sufficient attention to certain things that require more than a glance and an instant conclusion. Important decisions and actions need to be preceded by assimilation and reflection. Constant input itself induces stress. If you have ever watched TV, surfing channels hoping to find something worthwhile and then suddenly realized you have spent much more time than you thought, and feel irritated, you know what I am talking about. Or if you hear some fact or concept that everyone around you seems to know but you haven’t heard about it and feel you are losing touch on the subject.

Efficiency techniques and smart aggregating tools help to some extent as do relaxation methods. Unfortunately our leisure times are also invaded by screens for reading or playing! I mentioned the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” by Nicholas Carr in i-TFTD #240: On Patience. Carr went on to expand his views into a book titled, “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains”.

1 comment:

jinu kurien said...

Nice one RG !!! This one is going to find its way in to a lecture I have to deliver tomorrow morning. Thanks !!!