Saturday, July 12, 2008

Distracted: Questions Around Attention in Digitally Mediated Cultures

Interesting discussion from the Australian ABC radio program Late Night Live on the interupt culture and problems with critical thinking and attention span in the digital media age. It touches in places upon the concept of literacy and ends in a semi-positive light, however the consensus seems to be we are heading for a "Coming Dark Age". The voices belong to Phillip Adams (Interviewer) and Maggie Jackson (Interviewee)

In America a study has found that workers not only switch tasks every three minutes during their work day, but nearly half the time they interrupt themselves. Moreover, once someone's been interrupted it can take up to 25 minutes to return to the main task.

Maggie Jackson has been researching this syndrome and other ways we get distracted and has written a book about it. The premise of her book is that the way we live is eroding our capacity for deep, sustained, perceptive attention. In other words it's attention that is the greatest casualty of our high-tech age.

Maybe the 'syndrome' is a boring job? Comes via the excellent Peoples Geography (who host the player...thanks guys)

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