Stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream. (lost_angel) wrote,
Stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream.
lost_angel

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Jerky Stop-Animation

Linda Stone, formerly of Apple and Microsoft, has coined the term "continuous partial attention" to describe life in the era of e-mail, instant messaging, cellphones, and other distractions. This curious feature of modern life poses a problem for a someone like me. Every thing that I do that's worth doing requires ALL my attention.

I cannot put it any better than Donald Knuth, who writes on his website, "Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. "

Knuth also provides the following quote from Umberto Eco: "I don't even have an e-mail address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages."



I found these quotes and the super-quote containing all of them on Neil Stephenson's website. Reading them made a few firework go off in my head (damnit, I tried several times to write that without using a cliche and I couldn't think of anything quickly enough), first, because the term "continuous partial attention" was a zinger description. Second, it took many thoughts that I've been juggling and wrapped them into a perfect little paragraph, better-said than I could have without strained effort.

I will continue to try to let things and people wait until I've accomplished what I need and want to. Civilization has proceeded in its jerky stop-animation for thousands of years without me. I need to concentrate on myself and work for it.
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