In their honor, here's some great pieces my Mom forwarded to me the last couple of days:
This video may be the best 10 minutes you spend today (via Freakonomics):
It's psychologist Philip Zimbardo lecturing on the six different ways people perceive time, takes about 10 minutes to watch. Depending on your time orientation, it might seem to take far longer, or seem to rush by. Understanding which “time zone” we inhabit, Zimbardo says, has profound effects on every aspect of life.
If you haven't yet read this fantastic Wired piece by Nicholas Carr on "Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains", you must. It will profoundly change the way you think, even if you already knew much of what it says. A number of friends - all of whom are bright, technology-focused people, were nodding all the way through the piece.
The NYTimes has a related piece on being hooked to technology, plus another one on how it affects parenting. What's especially interesting about the parenting piece is that the examples are not typically "extreme", which are easy to dismiss, and that children are perfectly aware of the issue:
Laura Scott Wade, the director of ethics for a national medical organization in Chicago, said that six months ago her son, Lincoln, then 3 1/2, got so tired of her promises to get off the computer in “just one more minute” that he resorted to the kind of tactic parents typically use.(What's scary is that even as I wrote this section, I had to force myself to stop to play catch with Kayla and avoid being hypocritical. Oy. She has a great arm, though!) All in all, this is obviously the Times' new obsessive topic, as they've followed up with Technology's Toll: Impatience & Forgetfulness and an interesting study where the younger generation actually views technology as a larger problem than the older generation in terms of how it affects people. [I assume this is because the younger generation is caught up deeply in technology, while the older generation is only knowledgeable to a smaller extent and use it in more limited fashions.]
“He makes me set the timer on the microwave,” Ms. Wade said. “And when it dings he’ll say, ‘Come on,’ and he’ll say, ‘Don’t bring your phone.’ ”
A really interesting pair of tests is up on the NYTimes' website, here. The timing on the second one is very interesting. (For what it's worth, Mom, I placed better than even low multi-taskers, so :-P to you!)
- NYTimes: Studies show Jews' genetic similarities (Ashkenaz and Sephardim).
- Interesting piece on Obama in the White House in the Wall Street Journal.