Our lust for analytics sometimes divorces us from our humanity. We have “superpowers” that are mysterious and challenging to quantify, and, that are at the heart of who we are as human beings. Only with mutual respect for both the metrics and the mysteries will we thrive as a species. This is all top ofContinue reading “Thinking about Metrics”
Can we be productive in a world full of constant updates? Will we adapt or will we burn out? Linda Stone and William Powers at AIF 2011
Our conversation is about productivity with a focus on output and quantity. What if we shifted our conversation to one about engagement, with a focus on outcomes and quality?
Our focus has been on technologies as prosthetics for the mind, and human-as-machine style productivity. This has led to burn-out, poor health, poor sleep, and what I call email apnea or screen apnea. We wonder where our attention has gone. Turns out, it’s right where we left it — with our ability to breathe fully. What if technology became a prosthetic for our beings?
Watching Cameron Carpenter play the organ is a transcendant experience. It’s as if he’s “lit.” The organ just sits there, and Carpenter’s body exudes a powerful energy. Most of us, when we interact with digital technologies, “merge” our energies with the device, exhausting ourselves. Experienced musicians don’t do this. In the evolution of our relationship with digital devices, we have a lot to learn from experienced musicians.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been noticing that about a third of people walking, crossing streets, or standing on the sidewalk, are ON their cell phones. In most cases, they are not just talking; they are texting or emailing — attention fully focused on the little screen in front of them. Tsunami warning? They’d miss it.
For many of us, our evolving relationship with technology in a 24/7, mobile, always-connected world, traps us in a hyper-focus on the screen, and a blindness to the rich world around us.
Our relationships with our SmartPhones, and this wicked habit that many of us, of walking or driving while texting or talking, hold us in a state of perpetual inattentional blindness.
Everything we know, our strongly held beliefs, and, in some cases, even what we consider to be “factual,” creates the lens through which we see and experience the world, and can contribute to a critical, reactive orientation. This can serve us well: Fire is hot; it can burn if touched. It can also compromise our ability to observe and to think in an expansive, generative way.
With a musical instrument, it’s awkward at first. All thumbs. Uncomfortable. Noise. With practice, musician becomes self-contained vs. consumed by the instrument; co-creating music. So it will be with personal technology. Now, a prosthetic of mind, it will become a prosthetic of being. A violinist with a violin. Us with our gadgets, embodied, attending as we choose.
Today, we are Knowledge Workers evolving into Understanding Workers. Understanding Workers use technology to anticipate, judge and act. Think about it. This is what we’re doing with FitBit, Quantified Self, 23andMe.com, Facebook, and so many other technologies of this era.
The iPad is the iPod of reading. The world around you disappears when you engage with it.
Personal technologies today are prosthetics for our minds. Our opportunity is to create personal technologies that are prosthetics for our beings. Conscious computing is post-productivity, post-communication era computing. Personal technologies that enhance our lives. Personal technologies that are prosthetics of our full human potential.
Intention happens in the present. Goals are about the future. Where does behavior change? In the present.
One of my favorite 8 year olds can’t get enough of his Wii. I enjoy this child and hung out with him recently while he played his favorite video game. He was hunched over on the sofa and I promise you, his breathing was undetectable. With some coaxing, he moved to a wooden chair. ForContinue reading “Kids, Video Games, Posture & Breathing”
Are We at War with Technology, considers the relationship between the WHAT (technology), the HOW (how we’re using it) and the human (us).
A few weeks ago, when I checked my inbox, there was an email from Lianne Raymond. Her request: I am asking you, as one of the women I look to for thought leadership, to contribute your idea of “what is dying to be born” in the world right now- maybe it is already inContinue reading “What is Dying to be Born?”
The Internet stole my body, now a lifeless form hunched in front of a glowing screen. My senses dulled as my greedy mind became one with the global brain we call the Internet.
The challenge is, most of us, especially the brainy future thinking high tech types, tend to favor the inclinations of the mind. The mind, for many of us, is often tyrannical towards the body. “Just stay up 3 more hours. One more all-nighter. A Red Bull or two and I’ll meet this deadline! No walk until this paper is done…”
Distraction and procrastination come in a variety of flavors. I’ve noticed that when I’m “distracted,” and I walk over and stare out the window, it’s a very different experience than when I feed the distraction by cramming in a few emails or make a phone call. How often do you let your mind wander? AreContinue reading “When Distraction is Good”
People often say we’re multi-tasking ourselves to death. What is it we’re doing and why has this become a passionate conversation? I call what we’re doing today continuous partial attention, or cpa, for short. In 1997, I created this meme to differentiate between simple and complex multi-tasking. The motivations and the effects of simple vs.Continue reading “ZG Maps and ZG Mapping”
In early 2007, at the suggestion of my M.D., I took a course in Buteyko breathing and incorporated it into my morning routine. I would get up, take a walk, do twenty minutes of Buteyko, then, sit down at my computer to work. Day one: Within the first few minutes of sitting down at myContinue reading “Diagnosis: Email Apnea”
What I call continuous partial attention is referred to as complex multi-tasking in cognitive science. Most of us don’t walk around distinguishing between simple and complex multi-tasking when we talk about our day: “I multi-tasked all afternoon and I’m exhausted.” “Yes, I multi-task when I drive.” “A good chef has to multi-task.” Were those examplesContinue reading “Beyond Simple Multi-Tasking: Continuous Partial Attention”
Posts on this site cover attention (yours, mine, ours), technology, health and trends (ZG Mapping – ZG for Zeitgeist and Mapping for Orienting). Readers of my work on Radar and on The Huffington Post may be familiar with some of the themes that I’ll tackle in the first few posts on this site. Your comments, questions, quotes,Continue reading “On http://www.lindastone.net”