An interesting perspective from Attentional Austerity on multitasking: It’s sometimes assumed that in the world the Internet created, those who excel at multi-tasking and endlessly partitioning their attention will have the advantage. I’m not so sure. It rather seems like we are turning our digital devices into horcruxes of the mind. Instead, I’m betting the advantage will go to the person who is able to cancel out the noise and focus with ferocity.
Read more after the jump!
Useful procrastination – Improve your vocabulary with this nifty little website…
This guy only owns 39 things. Learn from him..
I don’t like this expression ‘First World problems.’ It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.
I found this article particularly poignant. Piety alone is supposed to cure all ills and fix centuries of delays in development.
Instead, Arabs have turned into the best consumers of Western products—from oil pipelines to skyscrapers—while smugly believing that they are in possession of religious truth. In other words, the only thing left the Arab world is its conviction that Islam is better than other religions or beliefs and Sunnis are better than Shiites. Such convictions may help one feel good but they don’t help nations progress or win gold medals.
Just as political systems need to change, the Arabs’ relationship to Islam needs to be reformulated for the times if they are to move ahead. They need to make a concerted effort to keep the spheres of religion and politics wholly separate. This, however, requires active dissent from within. Muslim-majority Arab societies need heretics, people who are not cowed by the fear of hellfire and the popular condemnations of moralists to nudge their fellow coreligionists out of their paralysis. They need to instigate a cultural revolution, not just a political one, if there is ever any hope for Arabs and Muslims to have a real place in contemporary civilization. Magical thinking about reviving 7th-century Islam is not going to get them gold medals at the Olympics, a soccer world cup, give them the knowledge to invent new technologies, improve their universities, cure dangerous illnesses, overcome poverty and illiteracy, and temper the flames of extremism. Only a well-defined secular, contemporary project can get them there.
An oldie but a goldie...