NY Mag: In Defense of Distraction

Jill says: "In this week’s New York magazine, contributing editor Sam Anderson declares enough with the anti-multitasking alarmism (Google is making us stupid, multitasking is draining our souls, and the 'dumbest generation' is leading us into a 'dark age') and writes about the benefits of overstimulation. The future won’t be about focusing more—it’ll be about focusing even less…"
This doomsaying strikes me as silly for two reasons. First, conservative social critics have been blowing the apocalyptic bugle at every large-scale tech-driven social change since Socrates’ famous complaint about the memory-destroying properties of that newfangled technology called “writing.” (A complaint we remember, not incidentally, because it was written down.) And, more practically, the virtual horse has already left the digital barn. It’s too late to just retreat to a quieter time. Our jobs depend on connectivity. Our pleasure-cycles—no trivial matter—are increasingly tied to it. Information rains down faster and thicker every day, and there are plenty of non-moronic reasons for it to do so. The question, now, is how successfully we can adapt.
In Defense of Distraction