What I’m talking about is the state of constant distraction we live in and how that affects the very special energies required for tackling a substantial work of fiction—for immersing oneself in it and then coming back and back to it on numerous occasions over what could be days, weeks, or months, each time picking up the threads of the story or stories, the patterning of internal reference, the positioning of the work within the context of other novels and indeed the larger world.
Every reader will have his or her own sense of how reading conditions have changed, but here is my own experience.
"Multitasking messes with the brain in several ways. At the most basic level, the mental balancing acts that it requires—the constant switching and pivoting—energize regions of the brain that specialize in visual processing and physical coordination and simultaneously appear to shortchange some of the higher areas related to memory and learning. We concentrate on the act of concentration at the expense of whatever it is that we’re supposed to be concentrating on." [more inside]
posted by jbickers
on Aug 21, 2008 -
"Tammy Wynette was quite wrong when she sang 'Sometimes it's hard to be a woman'. It's not. It's always hard to be a woman. Especially if you're a man." Hard-hitting journalism from The Daily Mail.[more inside]
posted by miss lynnster
on Sep 20, 2007 -
Those of you with crazy multi-tasking skills might want to check out Arcadia, where you play four different super simple games at the same time. Extra points for the stylishly retro chunky pixels look, which brings me right back to happy afternoons spent with my 2600!
posted by lia
on Aug 5, 2003 -