Interruptive Technology and the Death of Deep Thought (30 Jun 2004)
Just imagine Gauss's day: every morning he would wake up, and have nothing to do but work on his latest theories ... 8-10 hours of uninterrupted time to think. Imagine that.
Nowadays its just the opposite: its hard to get 8-10 *minutes* of uninterrupted time, and this is mainly due to the interruptive communication technologies that saturate every minute of our waking lives. Its been shown that once someone has been interrupted from concentration it takes 4 to 15 minutes to regain that initial level of concentration. Now if the mean time between interruptive events is on the order of 10 minutes, its not hard to see that the total amount of time that can be spent in deep concentration is exceedingly low (nearly zero, actually -- depending on the distribution around the mean).
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