Update 3/28: The annotations that were composed in class have now been added.
– Alina Tugend, “Multitasking can make you lose…um…focus,” New York Times, October 29, 2008, Web text.
With technology gradually expanding every day, we face the problem of lack of concentration. People tend to multitask to save time, but the reality is that we actually waste more time trying to perform many tasks at once. Studies conducted on multitasking concluded that we can only focus on two things at the same time to be efficient.
Switching tasks can lower our capacity to concentrate and can have a great impact in the result. According to Professor Mark from University of California, “after only 20 minutes of interrupted performance, people reported significantly higher stress, frustration, workload, effort and pressure.”
–Neil Postman, “Bullshit and the Art of Crap Detection” text
The article “Bullshit and the Art of Crap-Detection” by Neil Postman, focuses on how the type of world that we live in feeds society different types of crap and how we should be able to detect the information that we are receiving and find it unacceptable. In his article he mentions the different varieties of bullshit that actually exist. Postman breaks down pomposity, fanaticism, Eichmannism, inanity, superstition, and Postman’s Third Law and also elaborates on how these crap detectors are found to be significant.
The topics covered within the article are the different forms of bullshit which are Pomposity, misinformation to make one look better than everyone else. Fanaticism which is no tolerance for any data, does not confirm their own viewpoint. Eichmannism which is a language spoken through regulations. Inanity which is ignorance presented through a cloak of sincerity. Superstition is an expressed bullshit through authoritative terms for which there is no factual or scientific basis. And a couple of his laws that contend against the bullshit are the Third Law which is “At any given time, the chief source of bullshit with which you have to contend is yourself.” As well as the Fourth Law that “Almost nothing is about what you think it is about, including you.”
–Megan Garber, “MIT Management Professor Tom Malone on Collective Intelligence and the “Genetic” Structure of Groups,” Blog post, text.
MIT professor Tom Malone, in his article, “Collective Intelligence,” argues that collective groups have a genetic intelligence structure that can be harnessed to tackle the problems such as climate change, poverty, and crime. Professor Malone feels that these issues are generally too complex to be solved by an individual. Professor Malone’s research found that group intelligence cannot necessarily be predicted by individual intelligence. For example, taking a group of intelligent people does not necessarily produce an intelligent group. Rather Professor Malone found that a group of caring and emotionally intelligent people actually produces an “intelligent” group. The research showed that psychological elements have an effect on a group’s ability to solve problems together.
A group of caring individuals will be more willing and able to collectively come up with solutions due to the fact that they will be willing to hear each other out and allow the other members of the group to contribute ideas. Some of the key qualities found to be needed were social sensitivity, meaning an individual’s ability to be open and receptive to others. Professor Malone’s research found that women tend to be “smarter” than men when it comes to this type of group work. This is because women tend to be more socially open than their male counterparts. Professor Malone is essentially trying to map the “genome of human collectivity.” He believes that finding out what allows groups to be successful in working together will allow the world to solve some of its biggest issues. His research is intended to identify the discrete factors that allow groups to form and flourish.
–Alison Seaman, “Personal Learning Networks: Knowledge Sharing as Democracy,” Hybrid Pedagogy, January 3, 2013, – Blog post.
“PLN: Knowledge Sharing as Democracy” by Allison Seaman talks about the use of the internet and how it shouldn’t be removed from one’s life in order to focus and multi-task efficiently, but reused in ways it can better those traits and more. She mentions Sherry Turkle, a professor from MIT who says that technology takes up too much attention and time and suggests people disconnect themselves from their smartphones and other forms of digital communication. Allison then says that alienating oneself from technology creates ‘digital dualism’ which makes people separate their digital life from their physical one. The rise of digital technology meshes the digital with the physical and instead of separating the two; we should embrace it and use its benefits for everyday life.