Some interesting thoughts in an article titled “Social Media’s Effect on Learning” over on a WSJ Blog.
“Bilingual people aren’t cognitively smarter, but they are more cognitively flexible,”
“Practice at constant switching improves an aspect of their cognitive abilities.”
“This is much like what people do when they’re updating their Twitter status, instant-messaging friends, or answering text messages and emails while they’re doing something else. Dr. Kuhl said this multitasking, where people are stimulating new patterns of sequential processing, could then reap the same benefits as bilingualism.”
“If not .. then networking online is at least acting as a brain innovator.., promoting new paths of discovery and interactivity in the brain.”
Mark Pesce in his contribution to a piece on ABC Unleased shares in “My dreams for 2010”
What Mark refers to as depth is what Linda Stone calls “the next aphrodisiac” in her talk at Supernova 2005 – Full Focused Attention.
Five years into Linda’s 20 year cycle framework of culture, cycle where swinging back to the individual as a centre of gravity. Full focus attention. It’s why I’ve focused, from time to time, on things such openness, sharing, and context.
Culture creates the technology it needs to fulfil its desires.
Mark Pesce, author, technologist, futurist.
We have become broad grazers of culture. Over the last decade, our ability to ‘go wide’ has reached unprecedented levels.
Whether an uprising in Iran, a celebrity marriage gone sour, or the trivial factoids which obsess us, we now have the tools to take it all in, all the time, wherever we are.
The mainstream media have tried to follow us on or flight path into breadth, only succeeding in becoming more insubstantial.
But the time for breadth is over. We’ve passed the test – with high marks. We need to move along.
The other and mostly unexplored axis of an information-saturated culture is depth. Each of us has the capacity to dive in and learn more about almost anything than ever before.
It nearly always starts with Wikipedia, which then points you to another resource, which points to another, and another, until, at the end, something like real mastery has been achieved.
With depth comes judgment; walk a mile in another’s shoes and you can know their thoughts. It’s not fast food, but it is a nutritious meal.
It’s interesting to note that the big movie this year (and probably the decade) is James Cameron’s Avatar. Uttered at its climax, the film’s catch phrase is, ‘I see you.’
Three words framing an experience of depth, one soul knowing the soul of another. That might be too much to ask on a planet of nearly seven billion souls, but we know we are lacking, and long to restore balance. Depth must take its place alongside breadth as a core human capability in the era of hyperinformation.
Without it, we will simply evaporate into ephemera and trivia. But with it – and this is my dream – we can reach the rock-solid core of being.
Then I see a tweet from @kanter asking “what is the sweet spot between personal productivity and connectedness?”
My response (below) gets quoted by her in a blog post “What’s the sweet spot between personal productivity and social productivity?” here ……
Which leads me to read Stowe Boyd’s post about “Information Overload, Schmoverload“, and his thoughts on network productivity here ……
And so there I am, reading Stowe again, critiquing more mainstream media articles on the so-called ‘curse of multitasking’ and the over emphasis placed on ‘personal’ productivity – “…the war on Flow” here ….
And what do I read? “In the wonderful book, Kluge, Gary Marcus makes a solid case that the human mind is really bad at memory, and that we have developed all sorts of compensating techniques to counter that weakness. Our memories can be demonstrably changed by simple shifts in context ….”
From Context to Context via a connected kludge.
We need connection to others and to other’s thinking if nothing more than a technique to counter our weaknesses – we need a networked life.
And this holds true in any area of application – personal or professional.
That, my networked friends, is life network productivity.